Analysis of Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town

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In the poem Anyone Lived in a Pretty how Town E. E. Cummings plays with jumbled syntax, a seemingly random rhyme scheme, and the paradox of non-identical repetition to convey his message about the ordinariness of daily life, the passing of time, and the inclusive anonymity of people we encounter in our lives. Anyone Lived in a Pretty how Town describes the daily lives of the people who live in a certain, nameless town. The town is not named and neither are any of the townspeople, other than to give titles such as “man,” “woman,” “child.” These anonymous people living in the anonymous town do nothing notable; in fact, they are all fairly unremarkable as they go about their daily lives. The poem addresses all the seasons of life that the townspeople experience as the seasons, “spring summer autumn winter” pass in the same manner year after year. Anyone Lived in a Pretty how Town speaks of the town’s naïve young children who did not understand, since they were “apt to forget to remember,” the complexities or significance of individual moments in their lives. Cummings also describes children guessing the point of life and their place in the world “as up they grew.” Anyone Lived in a Pretty how Town also refers to grown “men and women (both little and small)” who, although in a different stage of life than the children have not yet accomplished anything particularly noteworthy. This is evidenced by Cummings’ description of the adults as still “little and small,” since he suggests that while they appear to be grown up they still have a long way to go. The everyday actions of the townspeople are monotonous and do not advance them or the town since they only “sowed their isn’t they reaped their same,” gaining nothing from their tedious daily work. The people of the town continue to advance through the stages of life as they grow older and eventually die. Cummings also mentions times of dancing, joy, laughter as well as times of sorrow and tears throughout the years....
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